How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Cissna Park 60924
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Cissna Park IL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Cissna Park IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Cissna Park IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Cissna Park IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cissna Park IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Cissna Park IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Cissna Park IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cissna Park IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Cissna Park IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Cissna Park healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Cissna Park IL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cissna Park IL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cissna Park Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cissna Park IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cissna Park, Illinois
Cissna Park is located in southern Iroquois County at 40°33′53″N 87°53′38″W / 40.56472°N 87.89389°W / 40.56472; -87.89389 (40.564674, -87.893988).Illinois Route 49 passes through the village, leading north 16 miles (26 km) to Crescent City and south 7 miles (11 km) to Rankin.
As of the census of 2000, there were 811 people, 375 households, and 217 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,128.5 people per square mile (434.9/km²). There were 400 housing units at an average density of 556.6 per square mile (214.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.14% White, 0.5% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.
There were 375 households out of which 22.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 38.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.81.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Cissna Park IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cissna Park IL.
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